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White Christmas? No — but icy, yes

A white Christmas may not be in the offing for Coastal Georgia.

A chilly Christmas, though, is on the way.

Forecasts call for low temperatures to plunge as far down as 21 degrees for Christmas Eve and 19 on Friday.

The Coastal Health District has offered the following tips and advice for bracing against the first cold blast of winter, which begins Wednesday: ·Make sure you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Heating sources, such as furnaces, wood stoves, gas stoves, and fireplaces, can lead to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home. You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, so it’s important to have detectors to alert you if there is a buildup of the gas in your home so you can leave the house and call 911.

·It’s never a good idea to use an oven for extra heat in your home. Not only is that a fire risk, it’s also a carbon monoxide hazard. Instead, rely on extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats. Portable space heaters are another option, but make sure the heater has automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Also be sure to keep your heater away from any flammable materials, like curtains or blankets.

·Babies less than a year old lose body heat more easily than adults, so dress babies in warmer clothing such as footed pajamas or sleep sacks. Just remember — you should not put them in a crib with pillows or soft bedding because these can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Instead, try to keep a warm temperature inside your home. If that’s not possible, make temporary arrangements to stay somewhere else if you can.

·Older adults can get dangerously cold more quickly than younger adults because they often make less body heat. Check on elderly friends and neighbors often to make sure their homes are heated properly.

·If you have pets, bring them inside. If there is some reason you cannot bring them inside, be sure they have warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

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